One of the heroes of 2020, fitness guru Joe Wicks, announced each of the six contenders during virtual visits to different BBC outlets across the day starting on BBC Breakfast and ending on The One Show.
The contenders are (in alphabetical order):
- Stuart Broad (Cricket)
- Hollie Doyle (Horse Racing)
- Tyson Fury (Boxing)
- Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1)
- Jordan Henderson (Football)
- Ronnie O’Sullivan (Snooker)
The six sport stars will now compete for the public vote on the night of the live show on the December 20 where newcomer Alex Scott will join the presenting line-up alongside Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan to look back on a truly unusual year of sport in front of a huge virtual audience and millions of BBC One viewers.
Alex Scott says: “I’m so excited to join the presenting team for BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Now more than ever it will be amazing to champion those who have stood out this year in their field, as well as highlighting the unsung heroes who have made a positive difference in 2020 despite how challenging the year has been for so many.”
This year BBC Sports Personality of the Year will not only celebrate the very best of elite sport this year but will also reflect how ordinary members of the public and Unsung Heroes all over the UK have used the power of sport to keep the nation going through challenging times.
Last year cricketer Ben Stokes took home the title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and the much coveted trophy, with Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton coming in second and athlete Dina Asher Smith placing third.
Votes can be cast by phone or online on the evening of Sunday 20 December and the number to call for each contender will be revealed during the programme. For further information and full Terms and Conditions, go to bbc.co.uk/sportspersonality
The contenders were announced across BBC Radio 1 Greg James Breakfast Show, BBC Breakfast, BBC 1Xtra Yasmin Evans Show, BBC Radio 5 Live Nihal Arthanayake Show, BBC Radio 2 Steve Wright in the Afternoon and The One Show.
Earlier this year, Broad took 14 wickets in the test-match series against South Africa. Wickets have been fast-flowing for Broad, who since the start of 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship, is the leading wicket taker with 66, 17 more than second-placed Pat Cummins.
In the summer months, he became only the second England bowler, after James Anderson, to reach 500 Test wickets. The landmark was reached in a series against the West Indies in which he took 16 wickets in two Tests at an average of 10.93 before earning the Player of the Series award.
Jockey Hollie Doyle broke her own record for the number of winners ridden by a British woman in a year in a stunning 12 months in which she set several landmarks. Despite racing being suspended for 10 weeks because of the pandemic, Doyle set her new mark in a quicker time and with fewer rides.
The 24-year-old rode a historic double on British Champions Day, became the first woman to ride five winners on the same card and claimed her first victory at Royal Ascot.
Boxer Tyson Fury produced a knockout display against rival Deontay Wilder to become the WBC world heavyweight champion. After a controversial draw in their first bout back in 2018, Fury was keen to seal victory in their Las Vegas rematch.
Wilder had held the WBC belt for five years and this fight was his 11th defence, but he was no match for the power and skill of Fury, who knocked the American down twice before his corner threw in the towel.
Fury’s win meant he became a two-time heavyweight champion and marked the long road to recovery after his battles with depression.
Lewis Hamilton has had an incredible year in which he equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Formula One world titles.
En route to winning what was his fourth straight title, he surpassed another of Schumacher’s marks to become the most successful F1 driver in terms of Grand Prix victories, beating the German’s previous total of 91.
Footballer Jordan Henderson enjoyed an incredible 2020 – most notably in captaining Liverpool to win their first league title in 30 years.
His brilliant performances saw him named as the Football Writers’ Player of the Year, receiving more than a quarter of the votes, and also he won Liverpool’s Player of the Year award.
He was on the six-man shortlist for the prestigious Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award and was selected in the PFA Team of the Year.
Nineteen years after his first World Snooker Championship title, Ronnie O’Sullivan won his sixth in emphatic style at the Crucible.
‘The Rocket’ thrashed Kyren Wilson 18-8 in a one-sided final and at 44 years old at the time of winning, he became the oldest champion since Ray Reardon was victorious aged 45 in 1978.
O’Sullivan, one of the sport’s great characters, has now won more ranking titles (37) and more Triple Crown event titles (20) than any other player in history.